Year In Review 2022. Lackluster At Best

year in review 2022
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And just like that 2022 slips out and we’re about to usher in 2023. As usual, l present our year in review. It seems like l was just saying goodbye to 2021. Then again, it seems like l say that every year. This year especially though, has been so blurry for me that l actually had to go back and see some of my posts from this year to remember things.

Year in Review 2022: Our Grades

Travel: B

The highlight of the year was visiting family in Nigeria after a long time because of Covid. We spent a few days in Madrid before our wonderful month with family.

Madrid dressed up for the holidays
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Madrid dressed up for the holidays.

Our next trip didn’t happen until June with ten days spent in London, a visit that coincided with the late Queen’s jubilee. Our last trip of the year was to Italy, way back in July. We visited  Pizzo Calabria, Rome, and Naples, spending a week in each city. It was enjoyable.

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Naples was a lot of fo fun and definitely, a place l would love to visit again.

If memory serves me right, this is the least amount of time that we have traveled during the year. We just didn’t feel like it. I think it all started with canceled flights that were common, seeing pictures of luggage at the airports, strikes, and other things that just soured us on the whole thought.

Even traveling within Spain didn’t sound exciting, so we put it off. We’ll see what happens in 2023. Looking at the post, we only hit two of our seven desired places to visit for the year.

Health: B

We have both been in good health thankfully, so l am very grateful for that. Fede now needs glasses pretty much all the time and it took him a long time to accept the fact. After the eye test confirmed it, he picked the very first pair of glasses he tried on.

Now that he has to wear them all the time, he actually took his time to get better ones that were recommended. All l could say was… welcome to old age! There’s more to come :-).

2022 year in review. Our late beagle
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Real name Sky, but we called him Naz, short for nose in Italian because that nose was everywhere when he wasn’t sleeping :-).

On a sad note, we lost one of our dogs to old age. We had assumed that the dog with all the maladies would be first to go. Sky woke up that morning feeling fine, waking us up at 6.30 am for his walk. Afterward, he was enthusiastic about his treat.

The rest of the day, he just got weaker, eventually expiring. We were devastated, but glad we got to spend many lovely years with him. We adopted him at 7 months per the rescue and he was 14+ at the time of death.

A Texas dog with a passport who also lived in Malta and then Spain. He was loved by everybody (maybe not so much in Malta as there were no sidewalks and he peed in many doorways 🙂 ). We miss him.

Finances: C

Like everyone else, our portfolio went crashing with the markets. Totally expected and l think this coming year will be full of more losses. We didn’t panic, and we didn’t rebalance except at the very beginning of the year knowing this was happening at some point, so l am pretty happy with the moves we made and we will stick with them. The long game has served us extremely well as has not taking the Crypto bait.

Spanish: A-

Yes, l am still in class (got one of the lottery spots) and improving all the time. The conversation class this year has been a vast improvement over the last. I felt confident enough to go on school excursions which are usually two-thirds old Spanish women. I am able to understand better and speak better.

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It’s been a great year of learning and meeting new friends.

I started a language exchange with a Russian woman (in blue) in my class who is trying to learn English and is fluent in Spanish. My teacher /the same one from the very early days) says l have improved tremendously and that woman doesn’t throw praise around, so l am thrilled. I still have a long way to go, but poco a poco.

The score is not for an extensive vocabulary, it’s more for confidence, knowledge, and an easier grasp and understanding of the language if that makes sense.

Charity: B

This is the first time l am including this as l never wanted to seem like we were gloating. I hope it comes off as inspiration to others.

We did better this year than last. Cancer research is dear to my heart as it claimed both my sister and father and countless uncles and aunts so that is a given. I’ve never been a GoFund me kind of person, but there were some instances that really tugged at me this past year and l couldn’t resist.

There are really good women doing great things for poor Spanish families and we were more than happy to help. Hopefully, there is room for improvement.

The Blog: D

I have been pretty inconsistent with this blog and the Valencia-specific one and l might have bitten off more than l can chew. Anything that starts to feel like work is a no-no for me. I can’t promise to do better either at this point.

Imagine, l still haven’t written about our Naples or Rome trip for instance from months ago. I’ve been too busy with fun life things such as writing a children’s book and my Foodies group which continues to grow and we have such fun outings.

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Awesome food and awesome friends sharing a meal, complete with a band. A lot of times, we take up a whole restaurant with 30-40 of us.

Wrapping up the year in review for 2022:

Meh! It makes me realize that l am getting jaded. There are people who would give their eye teeth to visit some of the places we went to over the year. We are so fortunate and l sometimes forget that.

Travel wish list for 2023:

  • Istanbul 
  • London
  • Paris, 
  • Galicia
  • Sofia
  • Antwerp

While we’ve visited some of these places before, l never get tired of them. At this point, we are okay with revisiting favorite places. Truthfully, l can’t even think of a place that l really, really, want to go to and have not been to. Maybe someplace will hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ll feel the need. For now, though, those are the ones that excite me, especially Galicia.

I hope everyone has up to now had a wonderful holiday season. Here’s to an amazing 2023. Thank you for your continued support.

Happy New Year!

18 thoughts on “Year In Review 2022. Lackluster At Best”

  1. Dear Kemkem, I love this year end posts! Sorry for the loss of your dog. Even if you did not get to travel as much as you hoped – it seems you had some good trips over the year. We also did stick with Europe most of the time in 2022 and went to places we could reach by train and/ or bus. With all the climate change this will be the future anyway. We are still thinking about visiting Nigeria – won`t have time the next year, but if we go, we will need your advice. All the best for 2023 and greetings from Berlin!

    • Hi Natascha, Thanks so much. He was part of our little family, but age will eventually get all of us if something else doesn’t first. He had a good life :-). I think it was just easier being in Europe, too many variables and it continues till today. I don’t need that kind of anxiety …haha! I also think you’re right that it’s kind of here to stay, at least for a while. Anytime you are ready for Naija, hit me up for sure :-). Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year to you both as well! It was great meeting you and we hope we get to see you on your next go-round. The way the days are zipping by, it will be soon :-).

  2. Kem, not wanting to travel seems to be a recurring theme from this past year – crowded airports, stranded passengers, lost bags, etc. Hopefully, things will improve and the process won’t seem so daunting in the new year.

    I like your ‘graded’ recap. You have no failures and some room for improvement – very good overall! Congratulations on developing more confidence in your Spanish and for sticking with your classes. Finances – ugg, we are all in the same boat on that one. So sorry you lost your beloved pet. That sucks. Fed needing glasses is just a sign of things to come. Word from the wise….keep moving.

    Wishing you the best life 2023 has to offer. And, more travel…..

    • Happy New Year to you! You are right, l think all those obstacles just make it too stressful, not a good beginning for a vacation :-). I do hope things get better. It remains to be seen.

      I think overall, it was a good year, but there is definitely room for improvement. Sky, or Mr Private Investigator (another of my names for him) will be missed and has left Bella with some of his old habits so he has the last laugh :-).

      Haha! I told Fede to get used to it as more is coming. Now, when he forgets where he left something, l just laugh. He really is still in a state of shock that his memory is not the same as it once was and he refuses to believe me about his driving skills :-). It happens to all of us. Yep! Keep moving ahahahhah

  3. Hello Kem Kem
    Thank you for an honest and refreshing blog post. I have been watching your YouTube videos for some time now and have always enjoyed them. Condolences on the death of your perro, we got a puppy in 2022 and find myself looking forward to her maturity. Glad all is well. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

    • Hi Karen! What a lovely comment. I am so glad you enjoy my musings. Congratulations on your new puppy. They are always so cute and steal your heart and become family. It is an exciting time and l wish you all lots of good health and happiness.
      Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2023 be the best one yet! and thanks for your support :-).

  4. Kemkem, Hello from Douglas and Eric.
    Sorry about your dog. They become family.
    Travel is so inspiring learning and experiencing different cultures. It’s a wonderful thing. You have a very good way of letting all of us share your experience. Thanks for that.
    Eric has given his work a retirement date of 3/24 so about 14 months. You know this time is flying.
    Spain is calling us.
    We will be visiting at least two times this year.

    I’m glad you are both doing well. Doug

    • Hi Douglas,
      Happy New Year to you and Eric! I hope it will be a great one.

      Time definitely does fly, and before you know it, you will be here permanently. Good for him for picking a date. It’s now time to enjoy the fruits of the labor. Make sure you et us know when you come. It was so fun the last time.
      Thanks for reading as always :-).

  5. Loved the wrap-up, Kemkem!
    My own Christmas letter this year was on a similar note- me feeling that we need a little jumpstart back into life. Perhaps we all have lingering shut-down melancholia. Lets all reboot in 2023! So sorry to hear about Sky. He was a world traveling dog who enjoyed more love in his life than many people ever receive. Bless his journey onward.

    • Happy New Year!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like we need a reboot for this year. I think the trauma of the lockdown will take a long time to heal, but it’s getting better slowly. Let’s see what the weather has in store for us this year, travel-wise. Yikes…seeing the blizzard news and cancellations wasn’t encouraging :-(.
      Yes, Sky was very much loved and l have no doubt he’s just as nosy wherever he is :-).

  6. Happy New Year to you & Fede! So sorry about your loss of Sky. Such a sweetie!

    Whenever you have the time and the energy, I’ll be eager to read your blogs on Naples & Rome!

    We’ll be in Valencia in Feb., March, and April this year – hope to hang out with both of you often then!

    Mike & Ben

    • Happy New Year to you too. You seem to be loving Cambodia :-). Yes, he was, wasn’t he? We’re glad you got to meet him.

      I feel a bit chirpier now, so l just might pick up speed again with the writing :-). We’re looking forward to seeing you guys again soon. I’m curious to see which sides of town you’ll end up in :-).

  7. Happy New Year!

    I think many people can agree that 2022 was lackluster at best (myself included). Who would’ve thought, after 2020, that not ALL of the following years will be considered amazing? 🙂

    Sorry to hear about Sky / Naz and for the fact that everything else was a bit not as planned. Let’s hope 2023 will be much better, despite all the signs. At least we (kind of) know what to expect, so let’s make the best of it!

    • Happy New Year to you too!

      Yes, it definitely was a weird year overall. Like you, l thought it would be on fire because of the lockdown. I guess we’re all still shell-shocked.

      I’m glad that your family got to meet Naz and l also remember that he helped your son, and maybe even you get over that fear. He was as passive as they come…haha! Here’s to the amazing 2023 to come. Wishful thinking on my part maybe? We shall see. We should definitely make the best of it.

  8. Thanks for stopping by our blog and for your comments. Sorry to hear about Naz, but you gave him a great life and he will always be in your heart. We lost our two fur kids last year as well. We are gutted! Following your blog and have a magnificent year with lots of adventurous travels. We are hoping to make it back to Spain in October.

    John and Susan

    • Hello there! I’m sorry to hear about your losses too. They looked so sweet and well cared for and loved by you two. It takes a while but they had the best lives and travelled more than most people. Lots of adventures for you two as well, and l will be following along as always. Here’s to a wonderful 23!


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